Friday, April 01, 2011

Review: Dogs Don't Lie by Clea Simon

The problem with murder is that it's messy. Not just the blook, the viscera, and what you, but the boundaries. And when you're trying to save a life--provide an alibi--for someone you know is innocent, well, the guilt tends to splash back on you. Especially when there's money involved. [opening paragraph]

Dogs Don't Lie by Clea Simon
Poisoned Pen Press, 2011 (April 5)
Crime Fiction; 256 pgs

When trying to decide what to read next, my husband suggested I pick up Clea Simon's Dogs Don't Lie, the first in a new series, giving me somewhat of a break between two rather dark books. Not that murder is ever "light".

In Dogs Don't Lie, animal behaviorist Pru Marlowe, stumbles upon the scene of a murder. One of her clients has been brutally murdered. The client's pit bull, Lucy, comes under immediate suspicion by the authorities. Only, Pru doesn't believe the dog could commit such a violent crime. You see, Pru has a special gift; she is also an animal psychic, however reluctantly so. She is still unsure of her ability and just what it means, but one thing she is certain of: Lucy's innocence. Teaming up with her tabby cat, Wallis, Pru is determined to prove Lucy didn't kill her beloved human. Of course, that could very well make her the number one suspect.

Let me say right off that I really enjoyed reading this novel. I adored Wallis (and Frank). I also liked Pru. The author did a good job of setting the right tone for her main character, her love of animals, her longing for human companionship, and the struggle she has gone through in accepting her ability to communicate with animals.

The other characters in the novel range from eccentric, to sexy, to your average joe. They each were very much their own person and it made for an even better reading experience. While I never grew to like some of the characters (i.e. Delia Cochrane), my opinion of others went up in the end (Detective Creighton).

I loved the end of the novel in all its complexity--I couldn't help but stay up late to finish, as the layers fell off at such a rapid rate and in such a satisfying way. Of all the Clea Simon books I've read over the past few years, I think this new series will be my favorite.

You can learn more about Clea Simon and her books on the author's website and on her blog, Cats & Crime & Rock & Roll.

Source: Book provided by author for review.

© 2011, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved.If you're reading this on a site other than Musings of a Bookish Kitty or Wendy's feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.


  1. Ooh, a new mystery series to explore. This sounds really good!

  2. I've never read any of hers but this series is piquing my interest. Glad to see that you are able to find some reading time. Hope you and Mouse are settling in!

  3. Thanks so much, Wendy. As you know, this series is dear to my heart and I'm glad it gave you pleasure, too. I've now drafted the second book, "Cats Can't Shoot," and have put it aside. I'm dying to get back to it - but I want to let it sit so I can read it with clean eyes. I want to keep these characters fresh and the new ones as vivid as I can.
    (PS - congrats again!)

  4. Animal psychic with a cat as teammate? Sounds very good and you've just given me something new to try. I'm definitely hunting for Clea Simon's book now.

  5. Sounds fact, I have a copy of one of her books that you sent me! Thanks again!

  6. I've been wanting to read this author for some time now. It definitely sounds like a cozy series that I would enjoy. Great review!

  7. I love the animal psychic spin of this book, and think it sounds wonderful. Pits always get a bad rap, and I really love that in this case it's not justified. Great review, and thanks for sharing it!

  8. Thanks, folks! There's an excerpt up on my site if you want to read it, see if it works for you, before you commit.

    I figure, a psychic with a cat sidekick makes sense - here we've got a Literary Feline with a brand-new Mouse sidekick! (Congrats on the house, too, Wendy!)


Thank you for taking the time to visit Musings of a Bookish Kitty. Don't be shy! I would love to hear from you. Due to a recent increase in spam, I will be moderating all comments for the foreseeable future. Please be patient with me as it may take a few hours before I am able to approve your comment.